Ida Hiršenfelder (beepblip): Exercises in listenig to the inaudible

Read the full essay in English

The text is part of the European project Acoustic Commons and questions our relationship to location, its sound, and our contact with and making sense of what we hear.

The Acoustic Commons program coincided, quite by chance, with an unexpected change in the soundscape and the elimination of anthropogenic sound from the atmosphere. It was not silence, just a lack of noise. It had seemed impossible to stop the capitalist machinery; however, the human crowds, the rumble of planes, and other machines remarkably ceased.

Despite the initial consensus of a common objective, it soon became apparent that humanity was even more divided and lost, which makes it all the more important to gather in a specific location and seek to find commonality in the diversity of sound perception of a shared environment. However, for Cona, the transition from apparent silence to new social relations was not a break but a continuation of nurturing sensitivity and complexity, with deep reflection on interdisciplinary approaches to acoustic ecology. In the Slovenian sound art and music composition scene, Cona is unique precisely because of its profound relation to the location of listening and the way the body moves in time and space when listening. The location of sound not only informs us about its ecological conditions but gives that place a particular political and social belonging. There are several ways in which a location belongs to itself through sound. In this text, I will discuss some artistic approaches to these issues in conversations with Brane Zorman, Irena Pivka, Luka Prinčič, Manja Ristić, and Petra Kapš (OR poiesis).

Ida HIRŠENFELDER (beepblip) is a Ljubljana, Slovenia based media art curator, critic and sound artist. Her focus research areas are media archaeology and archives of media art. She was a member of Theremidi Orchestra noise collective. She works at the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, +MUSM on projects related to digital archives. In collaboration with Saša Spačal she made a series of sonoseizmic installations (Crust, 2014, Sonoseismic Earth, 2015-2017) and other sound experiments. With Spačal she is also a co-initiator of ČIPke Platform for Women with a Sense for Science, Technology and Art. Time Displacement / Chemobrionic Garden in collaboration with Robertina Šebjanič and Aleš Hieng – Zergon was exhibited at Ars Electronica festival (2016) Radical Atoms exhibition in Linz and Device_art 5.016 exhibition in Montreal. Her sound composition were performed on Topographies of Sound festival and in the radioCona programme.

Production: Cona Institute, part of the Acoustic Commons project.

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